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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Lee

3 + 1 bonus Secrets from London

He was so passionate about flowers!

1 He was really passionate about flowers! Instead of planting things in the ground right away. He leaves them in pots, then arrange and rearrange. That way, he could see the true colors of flowers and not rely on catalogs that overuse photoshop.

I think we should all do that in our lives. Before we set anything in stone, we should play around with the placement of everything, try things out before we make a permanent decision. Location: Great Dixter House

2 The great designer, Paul Smith, has a morning routine. He swims every morning at 5 am and has been doing that everyday since the 1990s! He is in his office to answer correspondence by 6 am. Location: His studio with our teacher Clive.

At Toastmasters in London, one of the speakers talked about how all great leaders have a morning routine: Barak Obama and Winston Churchill. Now I know that Paul Smith does the same!

Sir Paul Smith and our teacher, Clive

3 Everyone we met had multiple jobs before they got to where they are today. To my surprise, no one dreaded any previous jobs they had. Their experience shaped and formed the person they are today. Paul Smith worked Monday to Thursday as a shopkeeper and reserved Friday and Saturday for his own practice as a designer. Not relying on his art for a living helped him to take risks as a designer and set him apart from everyone else.

We met David Pearson, a book designer, who was a junior designer at Penguins. He loved the freedom he had in his position. It gave him opportunities and less pressure to make great book covers. Margaux from Moth Collective advises that we "take the stairs." By that she means that we shouldn't take any shortcuts, because we learned a lot by being open and taking all kinds of jobs before we get to do the one that we want. Location: I forgot

Bonus Richard inherited his grandfather's business and continues to run the offset printing press today. He remembers the machines being hauled in by a crane when he was a child. The floor of the facility had to be reenforced to sustain the heavy equipment. I am happy to see this work, because so many things are replaced by computers these days. It's very satisfying to see that people continue to make things by hand. Location: Offset printing press in Sussex, UK.

The posters in the background were created by Anthony Burrill. He was tired of working as a graphic designer and took a year off from work to rethink what he wanted to do. Now he does freelance and continues to make his own artwork with type. Many people copied his work, so he made another poster to tell people to create their own ideas! Ironically, they copied that idea too:)

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